Richard Burdick's thoughts for his horn students


III. On Tone and practice

Tone quality was a big issue for me this year (Fall 2007), it wasn’t until I recorded the slow movement of Hindemith's Second Organ sonata for my "Beyond Favoirtes" album, in late November 2007 that I felt I had my tone back after a hard music festival in August.

I now have the belief that one must warm up with as beautiful tone as one can achieve. You can always play aggressive and loud with adequate tone, but the sweeter moments don’t just suddenly have beautiful tone. I now recommend starting with the stuff like the Hindemith slow movement and then move on to the flashy stuff, not the other way around!

More thoughts on tone

Ideally, a French horn player plays just like he or she would sing, however one must sing properly. The use of syllables is quite important and generally we play with and open mouth cavity and breath deeply for the low register. And for the high register, we use a smaller mouth cavity and breath higher in the lungs.

By the way, A relaxed throat and generally body are quite important you definitely do not sing with a tight throat.

 My main point here however is the use of syllables.  I have never been told by a teacher to use the syllable  “TOE”, but I like to syllable for the low register. And then generally, I try to keep my mouth cavity as open as possible for a big tone. “Tee”  syllables in the upper register are understandable, but try to remain relaxed and always keep the air  flowing.

 I was quite surprised when I realized I could hold my breath or play a longer tone if I kept my nose relaxed. I have found that resonance in the high register is quite connected to residents in the nasal passages.

 I will have more thoughts on tone eventually.

 Richard Burdick
 April 7, 2011







Search I Ching Music:

Horn Warm-upOpus Touron Buzzing

CD42 I sound My Horn

CD42 cover-88CD42
Music of
B. Heiden and Burdick


CD41 American Horn Music vol. 2

Burdick's CD41Music by:
R. Burdick
J. Graas, R. Johnson
J. Ott, A. M. Ingalis
A. D. Schmutz, T. Strong

CD40 Retrospective II
Horn Quartets No's 1 - 5

Burdick's CD40Retrospective II
Horn Quartets:
No. 1, Op. 39,
No. 2, Op. 51,
 No. 3, Op. 136,
  No. 4, Op. 149,
                       No. 5, Op. 154

CD39 Bach by Popular Demand

CD39 A sequel toCD39 cover-88
R. Burdick's
Easter Oratorio CD and his Favorites CD Bach Cantatas, 26, 84 & 99

CD38 Matthew Locke:
Broken & Flatte Consorts

CD38 Richard Burdick performs trios from the late renaissance: CD 38 Locke-Brokenall 6 Broken Consort Suites and both Flatte Consort suites - 36 track of Christmas like music.

CD37 Microtonal music of Richard Burdick

CD37 Richard Burdick's compositions:
Earth & Moon, Op. 202
Polar Flux, Op. 204 Microtonal music of Richard Burdick

A multi-track recording of Mr. Burdick:
A microtonal duet (Op. 204) & quartet (Op. 202)

64 tones per octave.

CD36 Classical Natural Horn
Music By Duvernoy & Schneider

CD36 Classical Natural Horn
Music By Duvernoy & Schneider

CD36 Natural horn Burdick Beautiful authentic practice classical era natural horn music, for horn trio and duo.

A very popular style of music in Beethoven's lifetime.

CD35 Twenty-Two Trios
for Horns

CD35 Twenty-two Trios
fCD35or Horn, Op. 156

Nothing else like it for horn ensemble! These trios are full of memorable tunes interwoven in fascinating ways, with wonderful twists and turns.

CD34 Natural Horn Music FOUND

Thanks to IMSLP a number of works have come to my attention from moderately obscure CD34composers, which I'm happy to present here performed on the Natural horn. Nineteenth Century composers Du Puy, Comte de Champigny, Alexandre Javault, Johann Peter Heuschekel. Released February 2013.

CD32 American Horn Music
American Horn Music
of the 40's & 50's


“This CD proves that what may have sounded weird sixty years ago now sounds normal and often beautiful.”

There are many lesser-known 20th century composers, who have great worth!

Let’s not forget the music of:
Wendell Otey
Alan Hovhaness
Henry Cowell
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Gunther Schuller.